Fig a Chips! (Bangor)


A miraculous fig with a fascinating origin

By Beach Road chip shop at Bangor harbour, is a truly remarkable fig tree. With roots under a tarmac car park and the tree growing out of a sea wall, the branches hang out over the water – high tides occasionally submerging the lower branches. Amazingly, the tree produces a reliable crop of dark brown, sweet and juicy figs.

Recent research by ourselves and Bangor Civic Trust, indicates that the fig was planted during the Second World War in an Italian prisoner of war camp that occupied the area. There is still visible evidence of this time in the form of round, concrete anti-tank traps incorporated into the seawall (view picture 3). At the nearby Penrhyn Castle Estate, where the prisoners were known to have worked, there grows an exceptionally large fig tree. It is likely some of the prisoners took cuttings and planted them back at camp, where they had small gardens around their huts – the origins of this fascinating fig tree.

The chip shop building was previously the home of Isalaw – the famous Welsh composer (Isalaw’s Great Great Granddaughter is a friend of Ian’s!). There is a slate memorial plaque above the door.  –

Pollination Group: Self-fertile

Bilingual product label and small “Welsh to the Core!” tie-on label (left) included.

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